Ideology remains a central feature of the contemporary world. Political ideologies map the terrain of the political, locate politics in a wider web of meaning and impart normative direction to conduct by highlighting what is of significance and what should be done. Explanations of globalization tend to be developed alongside the promotion of insufficiently acknowledged associated normative ideals such as emancipation from traditional or fixed values, reflexivity and cosmopolitanism. Empire is an elaborated critical engagement with the notion of globalization. Much of what it says rehearses standard features of globalization theory. Empire is the conceptual counterpart of multitude. It is endlessly plural but at the same time a unified subject. The notion of empire relies fundamentally upon its indeterminate and yet essentialist conceptual specification. Hardt and Negri's reading of empire is informed by a highly generalised and normative interpretation of the logic of historical development.